Een Nieuw DELTA-plan!

Mijn ‘pitch’ gehouden op 1 september in BOOM CHICAGO, Amsterdam

Dear colleagues,

Last year when my colleague retired after 40 years, he said: My home is my castle, but my school is my palace! Writing this pitch made me think of him, because education is our kingdom. That’s why I see all of you as …

…..dear colleagues!

In February 1953, the largest natural disaster in decennia took place in Holland: the flooding of great parts of Zeeland. This disaster cost almost 2000 lives. Not only lives were lost; the flood also caused major damage to our livestock – tens of thousands of animals drowned, approximately 100.000 people lost their homes, numerous other buildings and infrastructure were completely destroyed. Not to mention the 200.000 acres of land that were flooded by salt water.
Two measures were taken: I was conceived and born nine months later, and the DELTA-works began, because you all know the drill: “lock the door after the horse has bolted” . In Dutch we say ‘’als het kalf verdronken is, dempt men de put’’ (We seem to be more a cow-oriented people while the English prefer horses).
This year, sixty years after these DELTA works started, I propose a similar rebirth for our educational system. I’m not joking, I’m dead serious in fact; I propose an equally drastic and actual DELTA plan.

In the remaining 2,5 minutes I’ll explain what, why and how and I’ll will do this in the Mathijs van Nieuwkerk – mode .

Figures provided by our Ministry of Education show that only 50% of the students who commence a teacher’s education, finish it.
50% of the students who proceed and become a teacher, drop out of the educational sector within two years.
These figures shockingly conclude that only 28% of the freshly graduated teachers, is still a teacher after two years.

What does this cost us? Obviously I’m not talking money here, I’m talking loss of hope, loss of expectation and ambition, of ideals and of human creativity!
I’m also talking about accumulating shortages of teachers. These shortages differ per region and per school subject, but try, for example, to find an academic German teacher, an expert in Dutch, a physicist, that one single graduated classicist in all of the Netherlands….!

A DELTA plan is our only help and hope.

What are we going to do? Two things:
First, we’ll set up a national plan for professional orientation. We will gather schools throughout the country that are willing to host and provide information to everyone interested in the most beautiful profession one could choose.
Feel free to follow a teacher for a day, or a class, get oriented, talk to the school principal, to pupils, talk to the most important man at school: The janitor. Notice the variety, notice that your perspective as a pupil or student, isn’t that of a teacher.  This way the first 50% of dropouts will be encouraged, or at least better informed.
The second thing we’ll do, is introduce a supra-induction programme. Through this programme the second half, the second 50% of beginning teachers, will be shown very clearly that their school is not Education itself, that there are many ways to Rome indeed in the educational field, and especially: that you can find a school where your personal ideals that made you want to become a teacher will fit. Don’t loose your passion for education because one school disappointed you.


I have a grandson and I hope when he grows up he’ll have a chance to be educated in Dutch, German, Physics and maybe classics. The DELTA plan will be of help not only to him, but to a whole new generation.

Thank you for your attention.